Malaysia is the first on my path and one of only two affluent, civilized, modern countries in the entire region.
The capital of the country is the amorphous city of Kuala Lumpur, which is far from being Singapore, but it is like a refreshing breath of freedom after a two-week run through the Khmer-Vietnamese slums.
Let’s check into the hotel, take the first refreshing shower, and hit the road.
Everyone saw the Petronas Towers.
Everyone saw them, but no one knows where these towers are located.
For some reason, everyone first thinks of Europe. Mentally listing European countries that have at least some skyscrapers, they come to the conclusion that the towers are most likely in the United Kingdom. Or somewhere in the USA.
When attempting to recall the specific city, it is completely lost. Suddenly, tropical destinations, Africa, Japan... start surfacing in one’s mind. Everything is incorrect; the towers are located in the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.
Each of the two towers is a colossal block of glass and metal cladding.
All other skyscrapers in Malaysia are shorter and more affordable.
By the impressions, it feels like Dubai with an Asian touch.
There are singing fountains here as well. Modest ones, not comparable.
High-rise residential buildings.
Interesting fact: besides the Petronas Towers, there is nothing much to tell about Kuala Lumpur. There is simply nothing else here. The only nearby attraction is the Batu Caves. By the way, the story is the same with the caves: everyone has seen them too, but no one knows which country they are in.
So, the caves are also in Malaysia. And the coolest thing is that the golden Murugan statue is right next to the metro. So when you exit the station, you almost immediately see the giant statue and the staircase to the sky.
The caves are utterly uninteresting. Bunches of monkeys snatch bananas from tourists, through a hole in the rock, you can see the sky, stalactites hang from the ceiling, and souvenir shops sell water at triple the price.
Malaysia is a wealthy country. Skyscrapers, business centers, and luxury hotels abound here.
Even improvised construction here looks like a penthouse. Albania would envy such fashionable “additions” to buildings.
Streets in the city center.
Kuala Lumpur is a city with modern infrastructure. The capital has well-developed transportation, especially the metro. Kuala Lumpur is intertwined with a system of metro, monorail, and suburban trains.
One line operates without a driver, like in Dubai. Several new lines will get rid of the driver in the near future.
The train carriages are bright and have a cool flow of air from the air conditioners. The seats are painted in beautiful vibrant colors. There are separate carriages for women, as in any Asian and Muslim country.
In Kuala Lumpur, a preserved piece of colonial city with British architecture remains. There is a splendid late 19th-century golf club building.
Former administrative center. Mauritian style. Nowadays, races and fairs are often held here.
The old town in Kuala Lumpur is small, but that’s what makes it beautiful.
The modest history of the country is squeezed between skyscrapers.
On this small patch of land, it seems that all the mosques, churches, and temples in the country have gathered. Curiously, they are almost absent in the business districts, with all religious places congregating in the old town.
The oldest mosque in the city.
Certainly, Malaysia cannot be compared to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, or even Thailand. It is a completely different world, a civilization almost like America.
However, Malaysia is far from reaching its full glory. Kuala Lumpur has its fair share of polluted streets.
There are plenty of old panel buildings.
And there are plenty of monstrous conglomerates for pedestrians.
And there are probably slums in other parts of the country as well. The reader will ask: where is all of this absent? And we will answer: it doesn’t exist in Singapore!